For the past seven years, Stacey Washington, wife of convicted former Prince George’s County homeland security official Keith Washington, has had to raise their now-14-year-old daughter alone.
Mr. Washington, also a former police corporal, was sentenced in 2008 to 45 years in prison for the shooting death and injury of two furniture deliverymen.
“The most difficult thing for me is seeing her growing up without him…,” the 55-year old woman said, pausing while muffled crying could be heard in the background. “She was so close her dad…. She misses him every single day.”
The second-hardest part of the family’s separation is believing her husband was locked up without cause, Mrs. Washington said. That’s why the family has launched an online offensive to help overturn his conviction.
OneInnocentMan.org is an online compendium of transcript excerpts, toxicology reports, expert analyses and other documents, which the Washingtons hope will clear up some of the supposed “misinformation” and “false testimony” offered in the case. And an accompanying Change.org petition invites Prince George’s State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks to “Grant Keith Washington a New Trial—or His Freedom.”
“It feels like in Prince George’s County Keith has not gotten a fair trial, and it is clear the public are not aware of all the issues in the case so we thought let’s put the truth out there,” said Mrs. Washington, a financial manager with the Department of Defense.
The Washingtons have maintained that Mr. Washington was attacked and acted in self-defense when he opened fire on Robert White, then-37, and Brandon Clark, 22, who were delivering a set of Marlo Furniture bed rails to his Accokeek home.
The jury chose to believe the version offered by White—Clark died nine days after the shooting—who said Washington was belligerent from the time they arrived and later fired without provocation after issuing several expletive-laced demands that they leave his home. And, they pronounced him guilty of involuntary manslaughter, first-degree assault and using a handgun in a crime of violence.
But the word of a career criminal, including a registered sex offender (the website has supporting documents attached), who tested positive for cocaine and was later found to have perjured himself should not be the basis of a conviction, Mrs. Washington said.
She said prosecutors were aware of the questionable, often contradictory nature of White’s testimony but proceeded anyway because of potential political gains.
“This was probably one of the highest-profile cases the county has seen and it made a name for them,” she said.
“The mindset of the State’s Attorney’s Office seemed to be that as long as they get a conviction they don’t care how they get it,” she added. “[But] you have to be as quick to free the innocent as you are to convict the guilty.”
State’s Attorney spokesman John Erzen the office is satisfied with the handling of the case and will likely not push for a retrial.
“It is our office’s position that we would oppose any motion for a new trial,” Erzen told the AFRO. “We’ve reviewed all the evidence and we don’t think there is anything new that could change our position.”
Washington said she hopes the online campaign can help drum up support to force a revisitation of the case.
“We’ll keep fighting until someone realizes the truth is what justice is about,” she said.